Make sure your product does ONLY ONE thing really well

We’ve been monitoring a company in the computer vision space with a phenomenal product that can identify objects in pictures and videos thousands of times per second.  The business was serving all kinds of customers in various functions such as: nudity identification for Yahoo, face recognition for Match.com, and motion detection for the CIA.  Ultimately, the business model wasn’t working and a drastic change needed to happen.

 

Rather than pivot the product, the company realized they had to focus the product on doing one thing really well.  Now the company is growing again thanks to making the decision to focus solely on identifying what’s in video specifically for IoT camera applications.  Making the product do one thing really well is critical for the following reasons:         

 

-Doing one thing really well lets the sales team focus on that killer application.  In this case, the company’s product could do many things really well so the issue wasn’t with the product, rather it was with the sales team: because they never focused on any one killer feature, they were trying to make the product be everything to everyone.  This resulted in sales personnel being in all kinds of sales cycles, never being thought of as experts in any one product application, and spreading themselves thin trying to cover too many industries and too many customer types.  It almost killed the company. 

 

-Doing one thing really well allows for more effective marketing.  Marketing multiple features and/or products will spread you marketing budget and team very thin.  By focusing on one killer application or feature, the marketing team can put together effective plans which build the brand, and can do so cost effectively. 

 

The big conclusion here is that if you’ve got a product that is truly best in class but the business isn’t growing, you don’t need to pivot the product, rather you need to focus on what the product does really well and target your sales and marketing efforts on just that killer application.  Eventually as the brand becomes recognized as the leader, growth is excellent, and the business is profitable, you can easily transition into selling other great features about the product.  By the way, if you need a solution to identify what’s in a video specifically for IoT camera applications, I’ve got a company for you.  

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